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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of our frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

  1. When should I contact my agent?
  2. How can I find out what office my agent works out of?
  3. What should I do if I need to make a claim?
  4. How can I pay my bill online or by phone?
  5. What coverages are mandatory on my automobile insurance?
  6. What is the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association fee I see being charged on my automobile insurance?
  7. What is the 'mini-tort' law in Michigan?
  8. What is replacement cost on my homeowners' policy?
When should I contact my agent?
We love to hear from our clients and prefer that you contact us first.  If you cannot find the answer you are looking for on our website we would love to hear from you.  Remember, at E.W. Smith Agency every policy comes with an agent!

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How can I find out what office my agent works out of?
If you select our 'Locations' tab at the bottom of our page you can see a list of our three locations and the agents that work out of each office.  If you are not sure who your agent is feel free to contact any of the offices and someone will be happy to assist you.

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What should I do if I need to make a claim?
If you need to make a claim and it is during our normal business hours we ask that you call us directly.  We can assist in helping you gather what information will be necessary as well as give you an idea on what to expect.  Of course, all of our carriers have 24-hour claim lines in which these can be called in directly.  The 24-hour claim numbers can be accessed via the navigation to the left.

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How can I pay my bill online or by phone?
You can access the online bill pay systems using the navigation to the left and clicking on your insurers name or icon.  You will also find the carriers contact numbers there and of course you always have the option to speak with us directly via our office lines during regular business hours!

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What coverages are mandatory on my automobile insurance?

The below is a description of the items required on your auto insurance by law in Michigan:

  • Personal Injury Protection
    Benefits are paid to the accident victim by his/her own insurance company.  These include the following:
    1. All reasonable and necessary medical expenses.
    2. Work loss benefits, up to a maximum of $4,929 per month (currently) for three years.  Subject to annual adjustment for cost of living.  Higher benefit limits are available. 
    3. Up to $20 per day, for a maximum of three years for "replacement services."  This pays for services which the injured person can no longer perform for themselves.
    4. Survivors' loss benefits and replacement services benefits are paid to the insured's dependents in the event of death.
    5. Funeral and burial expense benefits.
    Personal Injury Protection coverage applies to accidents occurring throughout the United States and Canada.  It covers you and your family while riding in any car and as pedestrians.  Premium costs for this coverage can be reduced by choosing a deductible for medical benefits. You may also elect a waiting period or deductible for work loss benefits.
  • Property Protection
    This provides coverage for damage caused by your car to property of others (except moving vehicles), regardless of fault.
    1. Coverage is provided up to a $1,000,000 maximum.
    2. Vehicles are excluded from coverage, unless properly parked.
    3. Property Protection does not apply to accidents occurring outside the state of Michigan.
  • Residual Liability
    This provides protection if you are sued or are legally responsible:
    1. In accidents involving death, serious impairment of body function, or permanent, serious disfigurement.
    2. When actual economic losses sustained in an accident exceed the benefits available in Personal Injury Protection coverage.
    3. In accidents occurring outside of Michigan, for property damage and bodily injury.


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What is the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association fee I see being charged on my automobile insurance?
This Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA)  is an annual per car assessment that may have administrative expenses added to it. Most insurers will display this on your declaration pages. The assessment that is the foundation of the fee is determined by the MCCA board of directors, which is made up of five representatives of automobile insurers who underwrite coverage in Michigan.

This non-profit non-governmental association was created by the state legislature in 1978 to cover automobile insurance personal injury protection (PIP) claims over a certain dollar threshold for each person injured by an automobile accident covered by a Michigan no-fault policy. .



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What is the 'mini-tort' law in Michigan?
You can recover up to $500 for vehicle damage not covered by insurance or to help offset your collision deductible.  You have the ability to collect on this from the other driver if you were no more than 50% at fault in an accident.  If you were partially responsible for the accident, however, any court award in your favor would be reduced accordingly.  These lawsuits are handled in Small Claims Courts by the individual motorists involved.


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What is replacement cost on my homeowners' policy?
Replacement cost can be defined as the cost to replace the property on the same premises with other property of comparable like, kind, and quality that will be used for the same purpose. 

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